RIGHT HAND >> Divine Power >> Good of Celestial Love
LEFT HAND >> Good of Spiritual Love



Ar100c_500_612It has been already shown that the whole heaven has reference to one Man with his several organs, members, and viscera; and this because heaven has reference to the   Lord, for the Lord is the all in all of heaven, insomuch that heaven is in the proper sense the Divine good and Divine truth which are from the Lord. For this reason heaven is distinguished into as many provinces, so to speak, as there are viscera, organs, and members in man, and with these also there is correspondence. Unless there were such a correspondence of man with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord, man would not subsist even a single moment. All these things are kept in connection by influx.

[2] But all these provinces have reference to two kingdoms - the celestial kingdom and the spiritual kingdom. The celestial kingdom is the kingdom of the heart in the Grand Man, and the spiritual kingdom is the kingdom of the lungs; in like manner as in man, in the whole and every part of whom reign the heart and the lungs. These two kingdoms are wonderfully conjoined; and this conjunction is represented in the conjunction of the heart and lungs in man, and in the conjunction of their operations in the several members and viscera.

[3] While man is an embryo, or while he is yet in the womb, he is in the kingdom of the heart; but when he has come forth from the womb, he comes into the kingdom of the lungs; and if through the truths of faith he suffers himself to be brought into the good of love, he then returns from the kingdom of the lungs into the kingdom of the heart in the Grand Man; for he thus comes a second time into the womb and is born again. Then also these two kingdoms are conjoined in him, but in an inverted order; for previously the kingdom of the heart in him was under the rule of the lungs, that is, the truth of faith previously ruled in him; but afterward the good of charity rules. That the heart corresponds to the good of love, and the lungs to the truth of faith, may be seen above (n. 3635, 3883-3896). [AC4931]

They in the Grand Man who correspond to the hands and arms, and also to the shoulders, are those who have power by the truth of faith from good. For those who are in the truth of faith from good are in the power of the Lord because they attribute all power to Him, and none to themselves; and the more they attribute none to themselves - not with the lips, but with the heart - the more they are in power. From this the angels are called potencies and powers. [AC4932]

That in the Grand Man the hands, arms, and shoulders correspond to power, is because the forces and powers of the whole body and of all its viscera have reference to them; for the body exerts its forces and powers by the arms and hands. It is for this reason also that power is signified in the Word by the "hands," "arms," and "shoulders." That this is signified by the "hands," may be seen above (n. 878, 3387); and that it is signified by the "arms" also, is plain from many passages, as from the following:

Be Thou their arm every morning (Isa. 33:2).

The Lord Jehovih cometh in strength, and His arm shall rule for Him (Isa. 40:10).

He worketh it with the arm of His strength (Isa. 44:12).

Mine arms shall judge the peoples (Isa. 51:5).

Put on strength, O arm of Jehovah (Isa. 51:9).

I looked, and there was no one helping, therefore Mine arm brought salvation unto Me (Isa. 63:5).

Cursed is he that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm (Jer. 17:5).

I have made the earth, the man, and the beast, by My great power and by My outstretched arm (Jer. 27:5; 32:17).

The horn of Moab is cut off, and His arm is broken (Jer. 48:25).

I break the arms of the king of Egypt, but I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon (Ezek. 30:22, 24, 25).

0 Jehovah, break Thou the arm of the wicked (Ps. 10:15).

According to the greatness of Thine arm reserve the sons of death (Ps. 79:11).

Brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm (Deut. 7:19; 11:2, 3; 26:8; Jer. 32:21; Ps. 136:12).

From these passages it is also evident that by "right hand" in the Word is signified superior power, and by "sitting at the right hand of Jehovah," omnipotence (Matt. 26:63, 64; Luke 22:69; Mark 14:61, 62; 16:19). [AC 4933]

I have seen a bare arm, bent forward, which was possessed of such force and such power to inflict terror that I was not only horrified, but felt as if I might be crushed to atoms, even as to my inmost things, for it was irresistible.  This arm has been seen by me twice; and from it I was given to know that the arms signify strength, and the hands power. A warmth was also felt exhaling from that arm. [AC 4934]

This bare arm is presented to view in various positions, according to which it excites terror, and in the position described just above, incredible terror; for it appears able to crush the bones and marrows in an instant.  Even those who have not been timorous in the life of the body are thrown into extreme terror in the other life by this arm. [AC 4935]

Several times spirits have been seen who had rods, and who were said to be magicians They are in front, far away to the right, deep in caverns; and those who have been more malign magicians are hidden away still deeper.  They seem to themselves to have rods, and they also by phantasies make many kinds of rods, and believe that they can perform miracles with them; for they suppose potency to be in the rods, and this because they are what support the right hand and arm, which by correspondence are strength and power.  From this it was plain to me why men of old attributed rods to magicians; for the ancient Gentiles had this from the ancient representative church, in which rods, like hands, signified power (n. 4876).  And because they signified power, Moses was commanded, when miracles were wrought, to stretch out his rod, or his hand (Exod. 4:17, 20; 8:1-11, 16-18; 9:23; 10:3-21; 14:21, 26, 27; 17:5, 6, 11, 12; Num. 20:7-11). [AC 4936]

Infernal spirits also sometimes by phantasy exhibit a shoulder, by which they cause force to be repelled; and it cannot go beyond this; but this is only for those who are in such phantasy, for they know that in the spiritual world the shoulder corresponds to all power.  By the "shoulder," in the Word also is signified all power, as is evident in the following passages:--

Thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder (Isa. 9:4).

Ye thrust with side and with shoulder, and push with your horns (Ezek. 34:21).

Thou cleavest for them every shoulder (Ezek. 29:7)

That they may serve Jehovah with one shoulder (Zeph. 3:9).

Unto us a Child is born, and the government shall be upon His shoulder (Isa. 9:6).

The key of the house of David will I put upon his shoulder (Isa. 22:22). [AC 4937]

ha1nds9a  Thy right hand, O Jehovah, is magnified in strength. That this signifies that the Lord's omnipotence has been shown, is evident from the signification of the "right hand of Jehovah," as being omnipotence, of which below; and from the signification of "is magnified in strength," as being shown, for Divine power is shown by the strength by which it is magnified. That the "right hand of Jehovah" denotes omnipotence, is because by "hand" in the Word is signified power, and thus by "right hand" eminent power; consequently when the "hand" or "right hand" is said of Jehovah, it denotes Divine power, or omnipotence. (That "hand" and "right hand" denote power, see n. 878, 4931- 4937, 6292, 6947, 7188, 7189, 7518; and when predicated of Jehovah, omnipotence, n. 3387, 7518, 7673, 8050, 8069, 8153.)

[2] That the "right hand of Jehovah" denotes Divine power, or omnipotence, is also evident from the following passages in the Word:

Jesus said, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming upon the clouds of heaven (Matt. 26:64; Mark 14:62).

From henceforth shall the Son of man be sitting at the right hand of the power of God (Luke 22:69).

The saying of Jehovah unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make thine enemies a footstool for thy feet; thou art a priest forever after the manner of Melchizedek, the Lord at thy right hand hath smitten kings in the day of anger (Ps. 110:1, 4, 5; Matt. 22:44).

He who does not know that the "right hand," when said of Jehovah, signifies omnipotence, cannot receive any other idea from these words of the Lord, than that the Lord will sit at the right hand of His Father, and have dominion like one who sits at the right hand of a king on earth. But the internal sense teaches what is meant in these passages by "sitting at the right hand," namely, the Divine omnipotence; consequently it is also said, "to sit at the right hand of power," and "at the right hand of the power of God."

[3] That it is the Lord who has omnipotence, is manifest; for this is said of the Lord, and by "the Lord" in David is meant the Lord in respect to Divine truth, and also by the "Son of man" in the Evangelists; for Divine truth is that which has omnipotence from Divine good. (That Divine truth has omnipotence, see n. 6948, 8200; in general that power belongs to truth from good, n. 3091, 3563, 4231, 6344, 6493; and that consequently "hand" is predicated of truth, n. 3091, 4931; and that the "Son of man" denotes the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, n. 2159, 2803, 2813, 3704.)

[4] Divine power or omnipotence is also signified by the "right hand" in the following passages in David:

Now know I that Jehovah saveth His anointed; they will answer Him in heaven through the powers of the salvation of His right hand (Ps. 20:6).

O Jehovah, look from the heavens, and see, and visit this vine; and the shoot which Thy right hand hath planted, upon the son Thou hadst made strong for Thyself (Ps. 0:14, 15, 17).

Thou hast an arm with might; strong is Thy hand, exalted shall be Thy right hand (Ps. 89:13).

My strength and song is Jah, He is become my salvation; the voice of shouting and of salvation is in the tents of the righteous, the right hand of Jehovah hath done valiantly, the right hand of Jehovah is exalted, the right hand of Jehovah hath done valiantly (Ps. 20:6).

[5] In these passages the "right hand of Jehovah" denotes omnipotence; and in the supreme sense the Lord as to Divine truth. This is more evident elsewhere in David:

Let Thy hand, O Jehovah, be for the man of Thy right hand, for the son of man Thou hast made strong for Thyself (Ps. 80:17);

where "the man of the right hand of Jehovah," and "the son of man," denote the Lord as to Divine truth. In the same:

Thou hast driven out the nations with Thy hand, not by their sword have they possessed the land, and their arm hath not saved them, but Thy right hand, and Thine arm, and the light of Thy faces (Ps. 44:2, 3);

where "the light of the faces of Jehovah" denotes Divine truth from Divine good; so also "the right hand," and "the arm." And in Isaiah:

God hath sworn by His right hand, and by the arm of His strength (62:8);

here also the "right hand of God," and the "arm of His strength" denote the Lord as to Divine truth; for Jehovah or the Lord does not swear by any other than Himself (n. 2842), thus by the Divine truth, for this is Himself, because from Himself.

[6] Hence it is that in the Word throughout the Lord is called not only the "right hand" and "arm" of Jehovah, but also "the strength by which He breaks in pieces enemies," and likewise "the hammer," as in Jer. 51:20, 21, seq. Moreover the Lord came into the world, and there became Divine truth, and afterward Divine good from which is Divine truth, in order that He might shut up all evils and falsities in the hells, and gather together goods and truths into the heavens, and there dispose them into Divine order. From all this it is now evident that by "the right hand of Jehovah" in the Word is signified the omnipotence which the Divine has by means of Divine truth. That "the right hand" denotes eminent power, derives its origin from the fact that they who in the Grand Man or heaven have relation to the shoulders, the arms, and the hands, are they who are powerful from the truth which is from good; that is, from the faith which is from love (n. 4931-4937, 7518). [AC8281]

At the two ends of the propitiatory [mercy seat]. That this signifies celestial good and spiritual good, is evident from the signification of the "cherub" at one end, as being the approach through celestial good; and from the signification of the "cherub" at the other end, as being the approach through spiritual good. The same is here signified by "the two ends" as by the Lord's right and left hands; by His "right hand" is signified the good of celestial love, which is the good of love to the Lord; and by His "left hand" the good of spiritual love, which is the good of love toward the neighbor. From this also all things on man's right side correspond to celestial good; and those on his left side to spiritual good; for all things with man correspond to heaven. Those who are in these goods are meant by "sitting on the Lord's right and left hands" in Mark:

To sit on My right hand, and on My left hand, is not Mine to give; except to those for whom it hath been prepared (Mark 10:40);
"to give to those for whom it hath been prepared" signifies to bestow from mercy upon those who are in the good of life and of faith (see n. 9305), thus on those who are in celestial good and in spiritual good. [AC9511]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG  (1688-1772)

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